Hey Pocky Way, Big Boss Man, Greatest Story Ever Told, Friend Of The Devil, Mama Tried-> Mexicali Blues, Althea, Cassidy, West L.A. Fadeaway, Let It Grow, Scarlet Begonias-> Samson & Delilah, Ship of Fools, He's Gone-> Drums, Jam-> I Need A Miracle-> Gimme Some Lovin'-> Morning Dew-> All Along The Watchtower
Soundboard->Cassette Master (Gans) played back on NAK CR-7A->Panasonic 3700 DAT (sgrmag). Fostex D5 DAT->ZA2->Soundforge->.wav->mKw->SHN (Joe Samaritano).
August 17, 2009 Subject:
Ship of Fools
In my memory this SOF was one of the best I'd heard as well. It was one of-if not THE- first times Jerry sung 'forty years upon my head', rather than 'thirty', and if you listen you can hear the crowd's appreciation and amazement. I clearly remember my jaw hanging open at that new word!
Later my friend and I remarked that aside from the substitution, this version was inspiring. So, after more than 20 years, a subsequent listened confirmed it...
January 24, 2008 Subject:
Good, but not up to its potential
Overall: a good show that didn't entirely live up to its potential. This is a very good recording, however, so if you're looking to relive this night, at least you've got a good recording. Others have remarked about this being a particularly bad show, but I think that overstates it. Jerry is a bit off, but it was still a good show, with some nice moments from Brent (Hey Pocky Way, GSL), Phil (Cassidy, GSL), Bobby (Sampson), and even Jerry (Dew).
The scene: Neville Brothers were a surprise opener, which was fun. I do remember the sound troubles for the first set, but I didn't think they ruined the set by any means. I think the sound hiccups related to having an opening act (it actually kinda sounds like one of the mics from the Neville set got left on and was getting knocked into once in a while - just a theory). If memory serves correct, I think they kept the house lights up for the first few songs, but that could be my memory playing tricks. While the first two shows of this run were a great time, this show was when it started to feel like New Years. I think decorations were hung on the 29th (the inbetween day with no show), so the inside of the venue had a New Year's facelift on this night. This was the first night of the New Years run my friend Chard showed up for (he flew in on the 29th), so he was super psyched for this show and it was fun to have a good partner in crime. He and I would share NYE for 87, 88, and 89, then just to carry the family tradition, I ran into his sister at my last Dead show on NYE 91.
The music: Set I: Brent kicks it off nicely with a rockin' Hey Pocky Way. This is a strong version (see 3/31/1989 for my review of my fave HPW). Big Boss Man moves along a bit sluggishly. Jerry does not sound good on FOTD and it doesn't flow too well musically. At this point in the show you get the feeling that it just isn't going to be a great night for Jer. When he says "this space is getting hot" in Althea, he sounds downright unconvincing, but then they rebound with a pretty decent jam. Cassidy is very good, with Phil coming on strong. Rare inclusion of both Cassidy and Let it Grow in the same set. I'm not Mr. Statistics, but this didn't seem to happen too often, and might highlight Jerry's desire for Bobby to take the lead on this night. Let it Grow is solid with some nice subtle licks from Jerry. Not a barnstormer version, but pretty good.
Set II: Scarlet rips pretty nicely, though nothing tooo special. Sampson, on the other hand, is a standout version. I've never been a huge fan of this song, and was actually disappointed on this night that the boys decided against going into Fire (I figured they were saving it for the next night - no such luck). But this Sampson rocks hard and you can feel the band and the audience come alive. Someone else said this was the best Ship of Fools they ever saw. That confuses me, because my ears and memory tell me this was no better than an okay version. Same for He's Gone. I like this drums, and so does the crowd, which bursts out in some pretty loud applause at times. It's nothing too out of the ordinary, but some good sounds and some energetic playing from the two crazy guys in back. Post-space is really solid. Good Miracle, GSL is hot with Brent and Phil each giving it some real punch. Dew is Dew. I mean, really, have you heard many bad ones?? This one has some really good peaks driven by Brent's Hammond and Jerry's emphatic guitar and singing, but I'd rank it in the middle as far as late 80s Dews go. Jerry and Brent trade some nice licks on Watchtower, which heads in a good direction, but seems to run out of gas a bit. Find Your Shoes ends the show nicely.
March 29, 2007 Subject:
Remember the show well and it certainly had its moments building to great heights only to loose track. Scarlet rocked into dead air to be salvaged by sampson. The treat of the show was the Dew (after beginning to play lovelight before remembering they played it the night before) certainly moments of pure brilliance only to have Jer loose the last verse. The Dew alone is worth a listen...
June 22, 2006 Subject:
One of the Worst Dead Shows of 1987
I remember this show clearly. Something was wrong with the sound. The Dead were getting ready for the Pay Per View broadcast of New Year's Eve, and something happened during the first 2 or 3 songs, a 'popping' sound came through the speakers, and threw the Dead off rythym. This show never really recovered from its opening stumbles, although this show contains the best "Ship of Fools" I ever saw in person.
Except for the Ship of Fools, this was one show where nothing flowed, the Dead stopped playing after each and every song instead of a smooth transition from one song to the next, and it overall is better off forgotten.